Charles-Étienne Bélanger and Veronica Gomez were invited to actively participate in the IV National Forum of Social Tourism, held in Lima, Peru, on 17 and 18 September 2019.
This forum was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism - Mincetur of Peru and was supported for a fourth consecutive time by ISTO Americas. Inaugurated by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, José Ernesto Vidal, the Forum was opened by ISTO Director, Charles-Étienne Bélanger, who gave a brilliant lecture on the main trends and characteristics of social tourism clients. This conference was followed by a presentation, by the Director of Innovation of the Slimming Tourism Offer, Maria del Carmen Roca, of the results of the analysis of the behaviour and travel needs of the three target clienteles of social tourism in Peru: young people, seniors and people with disabilities. Afterwards, a day and a half was devoted to the presentation of different good practices from Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile and, of course, Peru. The Forum was closed with the synthesis of the conferences and the main conclusions, prepared and presented by ISTO Americas Director, Veronica Gomez.
Our directors of ISTO and ISTO Americas took the opportunity of this stay in Peru to also make progress on the organizational aspects of the upcoming World Congress on Social Tourism. Following a guided tour of the city of Lima, which allowed us to have a deeper look at its offer for the Congress, our directors met with the Deputy Minister of Tourism, José Ernesto Vidal, the Director of Tourism Strategy, Alejandro Reyes, the Director of Innovation of the Tourism Offer, Maria del Carmen Roca and Sandra Delgado, Social Tourism Coordinator. A rich exchange on the importance of holding the Congress in Peru for both Mincetur and ISTO followed.
Following technical visits to various facilities that could host the congress, a final working meeting was held at the Mincetur offices between our directors and the entire social tourism team.
To complete this stay, our Director of the Americas section travelled to Pucallpa in the Ucayali region, where she presented, at the invitation of the regional government, the conference "Towards Development Tourism in Ucayali". In front of more than twenty representatives of the tourism sector and local and regional authorities, our director reminded them of the importance of moving towards a tourism for all, united and responsible but also sustainable for the region. Veronica Gomez concluded her stay by visiting some tourist attractions with Ruta Alfa Turismo Vivencial (ISTO member), in order to have a clearer overview of accessibility for all in the region and its development opportunities.